Wednesday, October 26, 2016

"What I'm Reading" Wednesday #46

Alright, lately it seems like I'm in a half-book slump. I pick up books that sound fantastic or are by authors I've read books by before and loved then end up sending those books to the DNF pile. Case in point, last week's WIR-Wednesday book, Splintered by A.G. Howard. It wasn't that I didn't like it per se, it just didn't keep me engrossed and since I have five other library books to get through by November 7, I'll set it aside for now. In the meantime, I've read two ARCs I loved but you'll have to wait to read about them for one-two more weeks ;) This "WIR"-Wednesday I'm reading...

Compulsion (Heirs of Watson Island #1) by Martina Boone
Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lived with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt's South Carolina plantation instead--a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family's twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn't what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

Why I Chose This Book / What I Think So Far:
I kept seeing this trilogy mentioned on Goodreads, so the last time I was at the library I spotted it and decided to give it a try. From what I've heard it's been billed up to be like Beautiful Creatures, which was a series I loved so I'm giving it a try. So far I'm finding it to be an easy read and I'm eager to find out what's going on on Watson Island. The character names are a bit out there... Pru and Barrie seem a bit antiquated and Seven and Eight are just plain unusual, but overall the storyline is easy to follow, I'm just hoping this book will be one to hold my attention until the end. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

6 #BookShelfies I'd Love to Copy

Confession time: I love looking at other people's bookshelves on Instagram. I love how organized and pretty they look and am so inspired by the way other people organize their shelves. Personally, every time I try to copy their style it turns out looking like this...

I mean sure, it's not bad, but it's not beautiful either. It's not like these beauties...

photo courtesy: @silkreads / instagram

photo courtesy: @sarahreadsnz / instagram
photo courtesy: @tillyandherbooks/ instagram

photo courtesy: @rays.of.light_ / instagram

photo courtesy: @vamoslerma / instagram

photo courtesy: / Instagram

Maybe I need to organize my books by color... but most of my books have black spines. Or perhaps I need to search out new bookcases. Mine are kind of ordinary. How do YOU organize your bookshelves? By color? By genre? Alphabetically? Do you have them all standing straight up or are they stacked in different ways? Do you decorate your shelves with knick knacks or lights? 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

"What I'm Reading" Wednesday #45

This "WIR"-Wednesday I'm backtracking and beginning a series by an author I fell in love with while reading an ARC of her upcoming novel. I'm reading...

Splintered (Splintered Series #1) by A.G. Howard
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.

Why I Chose This Book / What I Think So Far:
I chose to find this book after reading and falling in love with A.G. Howard's upcoming novel RoseBlood (review coming in January). At a recent trip to the library I picked up Splintered which is like a retelling of Alice in Wonderland. I'm about 1/3 of the way in and I'm loving it. It's different than RoseBlood, but it's a good different. The only thing I initially didn't like was Alyssa's bug art. It's kind of gross. But as a character I like Alyssa and I'm already in love with Jeb but at the same time I'm eager to see where this story and the next two books in the series go. 

Friday, October 14, 2016

My Indie Author Story

This month Amazon is celebrating Indie Authors. I've talked a little before about my journey to self-publishing but now I'll be sharing with you my full story, from the very beginning so I can tell you why I LOVE being an indie author. 

My journey really began the summer before my senior year of high school in 2009. I had a hopeless crush on a guy I had gone to school with but I didn't know if/how I should tell him. One night I had a dream about telling the boy in question and instead of action, it drove me to write. I mapped out The Haunting Love and opened a word document. 

At that time I was being homeschooled, so The Haunting Love became my senior English project. I worked on it more than I worked on any of my other school work, then one day in March 2010, a few months before I graduated I finished The Haunting Love. 

My grandmother read it and insisted that I should try to get it published. At that time I didn't know much about self-publishing and figured it was either expensive or wouldn't look/be professionally done, so I tried the traditional route. 

I entered a writing contest for first books through Delacorte Press and Random House, but sadly I didn't win. Next, I sent it to another traditional publisher and a literary agent but was turned down both times. 

Then in October 2013, I saw a girl who's stories I like on the art website Deviantart had submitted to and been contracted by a small press. I took a chance and submitted The Haunting Love to them. 

Months passed and I didn't hear anything back from them so I didn't think anything was going to come from it. Then on January 27, 2014, I received an email from the small press offering me a publishing contract. I couldn't believe it! I screamed and jumped up and down, which is really unusual for me - I'm not really the giddy, perky type. My grandmother, who has worked as a paralegal for more than 30 years read over the contract with me and we decided it was okay for me to sign. 

I was making the best and worst decision of my life. It turns out that as far as small presses went this one, which was later bought out by another small press, is an absolute nightmare. My first foray into the publishing world was met with a lot of disappointment and I'm now extremely leery of any other form of publishing except self-publishing... which brings me to the beginning of my self-publishing journey...

I did learn something. In the eighteen to twenty-four months after first contracting with the small press, I learned a lot about how the publishing world worked. I interacted with fellow writers on social media, did research on things I did not understand and purchased a book on self-publishing that told me what I had to do. 

On September 15, 2015, almost seven months to the day from when The Haunting Love was published, I self-published my novel, Finding Elizabeth through KDP for Amazon and Createspace for the paperback version. I'm not saying my first self-publishing experience was perfect, I made several silly mistakes but I learned from those mistakes. 

In my opinion, self-publishing is not something you ever can truly call yourself an "expert" at no matter what some may say. There is always something new to learn, a new process or shortcut to experiment with and that is one of the things I love most about self-publishing. 

Even between Finding Elizabeth's release in September 2015 and Out of Darkness's release in April 2016 I learned new ways to edit my manuscript, shortcuts to formatting it for ebook and paperback including how to add headers and page numbers in the footers for print books,  and new ways to market my books among other learning experiences. I experimented with Smashwords and found an expanded audience on iBooks and other ebook platforms. 

But what do I love most about being an Indie Author? 


Freedom wasn't something I experienced a lot of with the small press. Self-publishing gave me the ability to set my own timeline. For some that might be an excuse to slack off, but I'm the type of person that's driven to get things done way before a scheduled deadline. Call me a perfectionist if you want, but deadlines are a scary concept for me and I fear that I will miss them so I do things right away. 

Being an indie author also gives me the freedom to have complete say in every step of the process, especially cover artwork. 

At the end of the day, being an indie author is exhausting but it is so rewarding. I have nobody to answer to but myself if I take a day off from writing. Would I pass on the opportunity if one of the big publishing houses came knocking on my door begging to publish my next novel? No, probably not but in the meantime, I love the way I do things and I love learning something new each time I confer with other indie authors and read different blogs. After all, I think you learn best through experience and moving on from your past mistakes. 

Now look at me, it's 2016, and I have three books already published, my fourth book Into the Light (Eternals Trilogy #2) is set to release on December 13, 2016 and I have another novel, Through the Fog (Eternals Trilogy #3) and a novelette, Eternal Fire: An Eternals Trilogy Novelette, set to release in Summer 2017. I never dreamed that this would be my life, but I'm embracing every learning experience and making sure my novels are as polished as possible. 

What do you love most about being an indie author? 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Book Review: Reawakened by Colleen Houck

Reawakened (Reawakened #1) by Colleen Houck
When seventeen-year-old Lilliana Young enters the Metropolitan Museum of Art one morning during spring break, the last thing she expects to find is a live Egyptian prince with godlike powers, who has been reawakened after a thousand years of mummification. And she really can’t imagine being chosen to aid him in an epic quest that will lead them across the globe. But fate has taken hold of Lily, and she, along with her sun prince, Amon, must travel to the Valley of the Kings, raise his brothers, and stop an evil, shape-shifting god named Seth from taking over the world. 

My Review: 
17-year-old Lilliana "Lily" Young's well-controlled life is about to implode. Seeking a break from the decision her parents insist she must make during her spring break - pick a college and a major, starting college undecided is absolutely out of the question - she finds refuge in her favorite place, The Met. 

As she sits in the closed off Egyptian exhibit (a perk of her family being rich: not only does she have a lifetime pass, she also can hang out anywhere in the museum) she hears something in the curtained off area. Thinking it's a tourist lost in the exhibit Lily goes to investigate. 

What she doesn't expect to find is a gorgeous guy in a white pleated skirt looking for "his" canopic jars. When he can't find them he insists that Lily help him. Thinking he's a crazy person Lily attempts to leave but not before the guy has a chance to cast a spell on her binding them together. Lily manages to lose the guy, who calls himself Amon, for a little while but when he gets hit by a car Lily feels compelled to help him. 

At first, Lily thinks Amon is crazy or possibly sick, but soon what he's telling her and what he's able to do confirm what he is saying is true. Amon is a 1000+-year-old Egyptian demigod that is tasked with stopping the god of chaos, Seth from destroying the world. Amon needs Lily's energy because his canopic jars containing his organs have been stolen so she must travel with him to Egypt to reawaken his brothers so they can perform a ritual to stop Seth. 

As Lily reluctantly goes down the figurative rabbit hole with Amon, she finds herself changing. Prim, controlled Lilliana would have never accompanied Amon to Egypt but the person she's becoming is someone she likes a whole lot better. "Lily" is up for adventure and is embracing things as they happen. Not only that but her feelings for Amon are growing into something she never expected. Could a relationship between a mortal and a mummy/sun god ever really work out? Does Amon care for Lily the way she cares for him, and if so why does he keep pushing her away? 

Will Amon be able to reawaken his brothers and stop Seth? Will he drain too much of Lily's energy? Or will Seth finally succeed? 

Reawakened is an action-packed Egyptian adventure. At first, I wasn't sure I liked Lily because she reminded me a little of the uptight Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl, too concerned by what other people thought of her. But by the time Amon finally convinced Lily he wasn't crazy, sick, or lying I was hooked on the story. I needed to see what happened next. Amon's discovery of every new modern thing was hilarious.

When they reach Egypt the reader is swept into a place that is both the past and the present, filled with rich history and exciting Egyptian mythology. The story kept me riveted but the only thing I didn't like was that as Lily and Amon encountered new complications, woke his brothers, and their feelings for one another began to alter and grow, Amon became less and less of his cheerful self and more like a man that had the world resting on his shoulders. At that time Asten became the goofball of the group. I know it probably had to be that way for the plot to work but I loved seeing Amon's cheerful side. The end left me tearful and sad, but also hopeful that things will change in the next book. 

Overall, the characters and the story were easy to fall in love with, I thought the book was very well researched, and I can't wait to see if Amon and Lily will meet again in Recreated. 

Quotes I Loved From Reawakened:

"I do not understand. Then who will wash me?" - Amon, pg. 59

Amon rose immediately. "Yes. We will take a flying chariot to Egypt." - pg. 78

"I will not bend my body to fit into a chariot so small. My sarcophagus was more spacious." - Amon, pg. 102

My Rating: 
4.5 of 5 Stars

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

"What I'm Reading" Wednesday #44

 This "WIR"-Wednesday the book I'm reading is top secret, so I can't tell you a lot about it...

Title: Can't Tell You by Author: Not Sure I Can Say That Either

What I Can Tell You:
 I am currently reading an ARC of the sixth book in a series I read and reviewed in July and August. If you're a regular visitor to my blog I'm sure you can guess the author and series I'm talking about. This book picks up a year after book five ended and so far it is great! I'm glad that the author decided to continue this as book six in *that series* instead of doing a spin off series because sometimes I find that when authors do spin-offs the story tends to lose something. 

I know I'm being completely vague and that's so not fair but you'll be able to see what the book is I'm talking about when I post my review on November 10, 2016! 


On another note, this is also a Waiting On Wednesday post for me! 

As I mentioned in my last "Book Mail" Thursday post I'm waiting on signed copies of The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia, Nemesis by Anna Banks, and Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. 

Confession time: when it comes to books I've ordered I am the most impatient person in the world. Seriously. If I check the tracking number and know the mailman is delivering the book I'm waiting on that day I can't get to the mailbox fast enough. I become a little yappy dog tearing at the mailman's pant's leg anxious to get my hands on the mail. Okay, that's a big of an exaggeration - I've never actually done that. But believe me, I've felt like doing it. 

So, there was a little bit of a delay with The Lovely Reckless (which I keep accidentally typing as the name of one of my favorite bands, The Pretty Reckless). The virtual signing I got it from hasn't been able to set up a time to get the books signed by Kami, but I've been assured that there shouldn't be more than a week or so delay. Totally understandable, I can wait. But I'm still eager! 

I'm also still waiting on my book order from Books of Wonder for Nemesis and Three Dark crowns, but I'm crossing my fingers that they get my order in the mail by tonight. Fingers crossed people! 

Are you waiting for a book order? If so, what are you waiting on? Isn't waiting the absolute worst? 

Friday, October 7, 2016


Title: Just an Illusion - Side A

Series: The Illusion Series, Book 1

Author: D. Kelly

Release Date: November 3rd

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cover Artist: Regina Wamba at Mae I Design and Photography


One night changed her life… 
Bestselling author Amelia Greyson has grown up in the music industry and isn’t the slightest bit fazed by fame or celebrities.  However, when she attends a Bastards and Dangerous concert with her best friend Belle, her world shifts on its axis. 

Double trouble…

Sawyer and Noah Weston are the front men of BAD.  They’re fraternal twins and sexy as sin.  When they hear the author of The O Factor is in their green room, they’re intrigued.  She’s just the person they need to write their farewell story.  The brothers offer Amelia the opportunity of a lifetime, which she reluctantly accepts. 

Three hearts…

Noah is sweet and considerate, working hard to make Amelia feel at home on the road.  Unfortunately, the closer they get, the more obnoxious Sawyer becomes.  Sawyer is arrogant and distant and he wants Amelia, even though she’s not his for the taking.  Only during stolen moments does Sawyer show her who he really is. Can Amelia maintain a safe distance from Sawyer and keep her heart intact?  Or will she shatter Noah’s heart by giving hers to his brother instead? 

Just an Illusion – Side A is the first book in The Illusion Series

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Head over to the Authors page today to see what amazing giveaway she has going on. 

Click the Giveaway IMAGE to go direct to her Facebook LIKE page!

I'm a wife, a mom and a dog lover. I'm also a taxi, problem fixer, extreme multi-tasker and my kids’ biggest fan in anything that they do. I’m married to my high school sweetheart... how cool is that? Margaritas and sarcasm make me happy. Chocolate makes that happiness grow exponentially. People who make me laugh are my favorite kind of people. I believe Karma is real and mean people suck. I'm California born and raised, I love the beach but hate the sand. And of course I believe Starbucks makes any day better. I’m the author of The Acceptance Series and Chasing Cassidy with more books soon to come.


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